Much is written and spoken these days about the feelings of loneliness and isolation felt by many older members of the community.
These feelings contribute in great part to increasing physical and mental health problems, placing an even greater burden on our already overstretched health service.
Horsham District Council is now making matters even worse by, once again, reneging on its earlier promises made to Horsham and District Indoor Bowling Club, when the council introduced the probability of redeveloping the Quadrant site.
The council stated then that a new bowls facility would be provided abutting the present club dining room and which would be available when the present leisure centre was replaced.
The following year the club received a letter referring again to the transfer from the existing bowls area to be proposed new allocated area.
In last week’s West Sussex County Times they refer to possibly having either an ice rink or bowling area.
However, prior to last week’s issue of the WSCT, they stated that they now had no intention of providing a bowling facility as fewer people were now playing the game, regardless of the fact that the bowls club has some 400 members.
Here we would point out that there is a proposal to increase the number of badminton courts from three to six for a club which, we understand, has 200 members.
Many of the bowling club’s members have been involved since the club opened and have created a strong social community.
This is a game which appeals more to the older generation and naturally over the years many have passed away but the club has been a lifeline to their partners who still attend because they wish to enjoy the gentle exercise and who look forward to their regular routine and to meet their friends.
To give an example, within a short time of opening the club we had formed a group of some 14 to 16 players who met at least once a week. Now the group comprises of four widows, one widower with sight problems, another gentleman with health problems and a couple approaching 90 years of age.
There are several groups similar to this in the club which has proved a lifeline in combating the feelings of loneliness and isolation which have already been mentioned.
We arrive, have a chat, play bowls for an hour or so, have an excellent lunch in the dining room and then go on to do our shopping.
There are very few physical activities which are suitable for older people suffering from many of the ailments associated with age, ie, arthritis, osteoporosis, etc, and bowling is one of them.
However, we do not wish to give the impression that we are just a load of ill-tempered geriatrics. There are many younger, healthy members and indeed there is a flourishing junior section.
The members of HDC are pursuing this policy without any thought or regard for older Horsham residents.
We would urge all mature Horsham residents to make their feelings known especially when it comes to voting in the next local elections.
DEREK and CYNTHIA TISMAN
Conifers Close, Horsham